Re: More re 'dreams and nightmares'

From: Nicola Taylor (19518173@STUDENT.MURDOCH.EDU.AU)
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 03:01:30 EDT

> Now Nicky writes:
> >If the Cuban government can indeed rely on
> >widespread popular support, and if the opposition is small and unpopular,
> >why the "necessity" to resort to violent suppression of all internal
> >dissent?  There seems to me a fundamental contradiction in the calls for
> >internal repression by comrades who in the same breath remind us that the
> >Cuban people are, in general, grateful to Castro for all that he has done
> >for them.  If Cubans are so grateful that they would defend their
> >government, and if Castro believed this, then he would have little to
> >from setting in motion a process of democratic reforms.
>   I don't think Nicky addresses what Fred and others are saying.
> Unpopular minorities can make history or at least coups. Especially
> ones backed by the most powerful and richest capitalist country (at
> least for the next several months) led by a president whose brother's
> re-election fortunes could well depend on turning the screws on a
> harassed country and who has attempted to put Otto Reich in positions
> of power. What is a piddling sum for the US could go a long way in
> Cuba. And Diego is surely correct that US backed forces would take
> Cuba backwards, especially regarding the security for the poorest
> workers and the most vulnerable. I can understand the impassioned
> pleas to this list.
> At very little cost to itself, the US can wreak havoc on Cuba.  This
> should not be underestimated. We don't want our words to be as
> cynically naive as Reich's or Cason's--do we??!!

Rakesh, I agree with you completely on the problems (and dangers) of any
democratisation process in a small, isolated country threatened by US
imperialists.  If we want to avoid cynical (or idealist) naivity, however,
we need to admit that:

1. All moves towards socialism in the XX century were immediately (and
permanently) threatend by the US, so there is no reason to believe that
attempts to build socialism in this century would not be immediately (and
permanently) under threat.  Imo, it would be naive not to admit this.  If
one admits this, then Fred's argument that democracy should be deferred
because of the external danger really amounts to an argument that democracy
be deferred permanently (as Riccardo has already pointed out).
2.  It is not clear to me that 'setting in motion a process of democratic
reforms' would NECESSARILY harm Cuba during the current crisis.  Rather, it
raises the question of 'what kind of reforms might be appropriate under the
circumstances?'.  To go willy-nilly down the other road (trials and
executions), as
Castro has decided to do, is no less fraught with danger.  The result may
be: i) isolation, at a time when Cuba most needs friends internationally
and, ii) handing the US new justifications for action.   I hope I am wrong,
but I can't help suspecting that the US intended to provoke just such a


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